La Camel

Moroccan food cart Portland

La Camel

Location: SE 82nd at Cartlandia
Hours: Check Facebook for updates

The Story: Ever eaten at a Moroccan restaurant? Sitting on pillows on the floor with friends and a huge spread of deliciousness. Now Portlanders can experience that from a food cart – La Camel.

La Camel opened last year in a cart that had seen many vendors over the years. Karim Baziou grew up in Morocco working in the family catering business and coffee shop. He continued to call the culinary industry his home when he came to the U.S. with roles ranging from chef to manager to caterer. His memories of the diverse North African influence that makes Moroccan cuisine so famous and delicious drove him to launch the cart.

La Camel offers an impressive menu and if you don’t necessarily know what a dish is, Karim has photos. Moroccan Couscous –  vegetarian or with marinated chicken. A Moroccan lamb sandwich with roasted peppers on a french roll. Seafood Paella and even a Casablanca Cheese Steak Sandwich with lamb. So many options, how does one chose. I lucked out. While trying to decide, a fellow eater definitively ordered the Moroccan Kefta Tajine. Sold! When someone else is laser focused on a dish, it must be good. Moroccan seasoned kefta (seasoned beef meatballs) in a rich tomato sauce with fresh chopped white onion, olives and topped with two fried eggs, cheese crumbles and chopped parsley. The dish is served with a fresh baked garlic french roll. Each bite blew me away. I don’t have the words to describe the breadth of flavors – salty, crisp, garlicky, creamy. Mixing in the egg with a bit of garlic bread and sauce sent me over the edge. One of the best meals from a food cart I’ve had the pleasure to enjoy.

Moroccan food cart Portland

Moroccan Kefta Tagine

When I look over the menu, I begin to crave each dish and can’t wait for the opportunity to return and try each and every one. La Camel is located on SW 9th between Alder and Washington and Karim opens daily for lunch. Next time you’re in a rut and want to experience some great new dishes, check them out and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu (full menu on website)

  • Vegetarian Spanish Paella – saffron rice, smoked paprika, green beans, white beans and peas in a white wine sauce – $8
  • Chicken Spanish Paella – $9
  • Moroccan Couscous Beet Salad – $7.75
  • Moroccan Kefta Tajine – $8.75
  • Moroccan Lamb Sandwich – $8.75
  • Warm Chicken Salad – $8.75


Chez Dodo


Chez Dodo

Location: SW 5th and Stark
Hours: M-F, 11am-11pm; Sat, 11-9pm

The Story: A taste of Mauritian Paradise. That is all I needed to know before visiting Chez Dodo, a new vendor in the ever changing lot at the corner of N Fremont and Vancouver. Chez Dodo moved to SW 5th and Stark January 2014.

Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 1,200 miles off the south east coast of Africa. When the Portuguese arrived in the 1500’s, the island was uninhabited except for the famed Dodo bird. After a few centuries of different colonial rule, the culture of the island in the 21st century is a mix of several ethnicities – mostly of Indian, African, Chinese and European descent. At Chez Dodo, the cuisine reflects the inspiration of French, African, Indian, Creole and Chinese cuisine.

Upon arrival, Chef Shayamal leaned out the window to greet me and immediately listed off the day’s specials and instructed me to the vast menu and how to order. You start with a base of either flat bread, noodles or rice, add a curry sauce and then top with accompaniments like bean curry and potatoes, chicken or lamb. I chose pan fried curry noodles with the Island Fever spicy curry sauce and lamb. During the prep of the meal, Shayamal leaned out with a huge skillet of noodles and a fork to ask if the spice was sufficient. What brilliant service. A huge plate of noodles with vegetables and lamb was handed over. More than I could eat in a sitting, but so flavorful, spicy and complex, I couldn’t put the fork down. If you’re going, go with a friend as Shayamal is a giver of food and will load you up.

Curry Noodles from Chez Dodo

You may recognize the name Chez Dodo as his vegan pre-made products have been in local stores now for over a year. Chef Shayamal offers numerous options for vegan, gluten free, and vegetarian diets. He stated, “If it weren’t for the vegans buying my product, I wouldn’t be open.” Thanks vegans! Chez Dodo is open from lunch through late night and on Saturday, so there is no reason you can’t visit. The lot now has five different mobile vendors and the are continues to change for the better with a New Seasons store opening this year. Drop on by for a taste of Mauritius and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:


  • Dholl Puri Flat Bread; Pan Fried Curried Noodles; Brown Rice Pulao or Rice Noodles

Curry Sauces:

  • Healthy Vegan: mild curry sauce cooked with a blend of exotic spices and herbs
  • Tropical Happiness: creamy tomato based curry sauce cooked with spices, coconut and cashews
  • Island Fever: spicy curry sauce with 3 different peppers, onions, ginger, garlic, tamarind, lemon and vinegar


  • Assorted bean curry and potatoes – $4.99
  • Wild combo of mushrooms with lentil fritter – $5.99
  • Chicken cooked in red wine sauce – $5.99
  • Lamb Curry pressure cooked and sauteed – $7.99

Phone: (503) 284-4575
Facebook: Chez Dodo
Twitter: @ChezDodoPDX

Gamila Cafe


Location: NW 4th and Couch
Hours: Friday/Saturday late night

Moroccan American Cuisine. More details coming soon.

Facebook: Gamila Cafe

Emame’s Ethiopian Cuisine

Emame's Ethiopian Cuisine

Emame's Ethiopian Cuisine

Location: SW 9th and Washington
Hours: Weekdays, lunchtime

The Story:

Portland has a thriving and robust Ethiopian community with numerous restaurants and markets. We’ve been fans for years since we moved to north Portland and am now even more excited to see that Emame’s has opened a Ethiopian food cart.

There are a few out there who make the snide jokes about Ethiopian food or lack thereof based on the last 30 years of news. Well, let them be ignorant, that’s more amazing food for the rest of us. The first experience with Ethiopian food is something everyone who loves to eat should experience. The individual dishes are served either atop or with injera, a spongy flatbread made from teff, a fine grain from the region. Traditionally, no flatware is supplied – you eat the meal with your hands and part of the experience is to tear off a piece of injera and use it to grasp the salads or stews before you. While feeding yourself, you also feed your partner, by hand, creating a sensual eating experience.

Emame’s menu has the traditional dishes I have come to expect – stewed meats in berbere sauce; lentils simmered in berbere sauced and onions; salads. Berbere s a spice mixture whose ingredients usually include chili peppers, ginger, cloves, coriander, allspice, and rue berries and is a key ingredient in Ethiopian and Eritrean food. While it can be spicy if paired with other hot peppers, in and of itself, berbere is more flavorful than spicy. The dish I enjoyed was the miser alecha, split lentils sauteed with onions, garlic, ginger and spices. The meal was served with plenty of injera, a side salad with mixed greens and a chopped cabbage salad. The injera, soft and spongy was the best wrap for the lentil dish. I could taste hints of the garlic and ginger mixed with a bit of earthiness from the lentils. While Emame’s did provide me with utensils, I used the injera throughout the meal, scooping up every little bit and shoving it in my mouth to enjoy. Be sure to have plenty of napkins.

Trust me, eating with your fingers is a wonderful experience and allows you to get closer to the food and maybe enjoy it on a different level. Reason 1 why I love Ethiopian food. The lot at SW 9th and 10th and Alder which use to house Escape from New York Pizza back in the day has become the international food court for food carts and now we have our second cart from Africa. Let’s welcome Emame’s to the food cart community and enjoy some great food. When you visit, and I know you will, let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

All dishes are $6 and are served with injera, a side and a sauce

  • Dora Watt: Ethiopian National Dish; spicy chicken slowly simmered in Berbere sauce and other spices.
  • Siga Watt: beef stewed with berbere sauce then flavored with onions, garlic and ginger root.
  • Tibs: beef cubed and sauteed in Kibe (Ethiopian clarified butter) and seasoned with onions, tomatoes, and spices.
  • Miser Kay Wat: red split lentils simmered in berbere sauce, onions, garlic and ginger.
  • Miser Alecha: split lentils sauteed with onions garlic, ginger and spices.

Hours: Monday-Friday, lunchtime
Contact: unknown